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Economy in Brief

U.S. Initial Unemployment Insurance Applications Reverse Earlier Increase
by Tom Moeller  July 16, 2015

Initial claims for unemployment insurance declined to 281,000 (-7.2% y/y) during the week ended July 11 from 296,000 during the prior week, revised from 297,000. The decline reversed all of the prior week's gain and may reflect volatility due to retooling operations in the auto industry. The four week moving average rose to 282,500, the highest level since late-April. The Action Economics Forecast Survey expected 285,000 initial claims. During the last ten years, there has been a 76% correlation between the level of initial claims and the m/m change in nonfarm payrolls.

Continuing claims for unemployment insurance declined to 2.215 million (-12.7% y/y) from the three-month high of 2.327 million. The four-week moving average eased to 2.264 million.

The insured rate of unemployment fell to 1.6% following five weeks at 1.7%.

By state, the insured rate of unemployment continued to vary greatly with Nebraska (0.71%), Indiana (0.76%), Florida (0.77%), South Carolina (0.87%), Georgia (0.98%) and Kansas (1.04%) at the low end of the range. At the high end were Massachusetts (2.01%), Nevada (2.24%), California (2.40%), Pennsylvania (2.50%), Connecticut (2.60%) and New Jersey (2.65%). These data are not seasonally adjusted.

Data on weekly unemployment insurance are contained in Haver's WEEKLY database and they are summarized monthly in USECON. Data for individual states are in REGIONW. The expectations figure is from the Action Economics survey, carried in the AS1REPNA database.

The Fed's latest Beige Book covering regional economic conditions can be found here.

Unemployment Insurance (000s) 07/11/15 07/04/15 06/27/15 Y/Y % 2014 2013 2012
Initial Claims 281 296 282 -7.2 309 343 374
Continuing Claims -- 2,215 2,327 -12.7 2,599 2,978 3,319
Insured Unemployment Rate (%) -- 1.6 1.7 1.9
2.0 2.3 2.6
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